Review Detail

9.1 20 10
FanMix July 05, 2012 4401
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Just as wide-eyed Spinal Tap acolytes rever Valhalla for the mere existence of Manowar, so too the burgeoning ranks of fanedit viewers ought to worship TMBTM for this sonic swash through the Hyborian Age. I needlessly feared I would not like this “silent” Conan. Too loud or too dumb. Turns out, this nicely trimmed version is well thought out and well executed. What you hear is what you see. Or as one might say - Behold!

Video - MPEG 720 X 480p. I foolishly dropped a lower rez file, then got the DVD. Wise choice. There are several cuts - probably more than I suspect - and though I noticed a missing sequence here and there, I never noticed from sloppy or abrupt cutting.

Audio - 2 Channel stereo, AC3. No subs, not that it matters. As indicated fully in title and notes, this is primarily a “silent” version of Conan, with music by metal group Manowar replacing most of the dialogue and all of the Poldoris score. The syncing of music to onscreen action is outstanding. Riffs roar during mayhem, caress melodic during pensive or thoughtful moments. The dialogue is not fully absent, though some of the transitions out of dialogue back to Manowar are a bit steep. One that comes to mind is just before Conan and Subotai reflect on the wind that blows through all mens’ soul. Not a complaint.

Narrative - Several scenes were deleted. While I noticed them, their ommission did not affect the story. Dialogue is at an absolute minimum in this, such as when King Osric hires the trio for a mission. This edit bore up well, and TMBTM selected wisely. You don’t have to know the underlying story to follow along, although additional spoken bits would have helped. I can see where sections of this might head scratching. R E Howard fans, you should have no trouble tracking the story and understanding character motivations.

Enjoyment - Midway through the film, Conan and Valeria surrender to romantic urges. While watching I detected the opening strains of the music and thought, “That sounds like Nessun Dorma.” Sure enough, the opening strains of Puccini’s Turandot swelled. Even though I knew that TMBTM had replaced all music with MOW, I asked myself, “Michael Bolton?” (the ex-shaghead once released a disc of personal opera faves.) Of course not, it was Manowar attempting a number completely beyond them.

What an audacious choice, however! It capsized the mood in a manner that was seriously wrong yet so totally fitting. I was laughing out loud, shaking my head, and clapping. Such an unexpected selection.

The DVD has several nice gems, by the way, including an entertaining menu that affords tender-foots a glimpse into the Manowar world. Will this replace my Conan? No. Will I replay this again? Yes! Will I play it during the next house bash. Absolutely!! Get those relatives outta my home permanently.

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